Chicago south suburban Tea Party, which claims nation's largest 2009 local gathering, organized to defeat Republican leading candidate for Obama's former U.S. Senate seat.
UPDATE 2/12/10: Primary Winner Mark Kirk Backed by John McCain
UPDATE 1/11/10: Mark Kirk loss would "severely shake the foundations of the GOP establishment"
UPDATE 1/9/10: New York Times - Is Kirk too liberal?
UPDATE 1/7/10: Florida Tea Party "turns guns" on GOP leadership
So-called Tea Party groups show opposition to incumbents and career politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, nationwide.
NOTE: Video NOT related to article below
-- From "Tea Party Folks Are your neighbors" by Phil Kadner, Southtown Star Sun-Times Media 1/7/10
"We're here to protect the Constitution," Homer Glen resident Mary Lou Benakovich informed me. "We're pro-gun, anti-abortion, anti-tax and oppose RINOs running for office."
"Republicans in name only, RINO," Benakovich explained. "Mark Kirk . . . is a RINO."
This was billed by some as an anti-Kirk rally. Literature distributed at the rally labeled Kirk "pro homosexual," "pro abortion," "a gun grabber" and "tax and spender."
"He's worse than Obama because Obama's a Democrat," Benakovich said. "Kirk claims he's a Republican, but he's a traitor to everything the party is supposed to stand for."
Claris Van Kuiken, 55, of New Lenox, said she joined the movement because she fears politicians are not only attempting to undermine the country but Christian institutions as well, with a vision of a one-world government and occultism.
Stephen J. Balich, the Homer Township clerk and a leader of the Will County Tea Party Alliance, said the group's members are neither Democrats nor Republicans - just voters trying to take their country back.
Every person I spoke with was so bursting with enthusiasm for the cause that I had trouble taking notes.
One man told me he's tired of writing letters to politicians in Washington only to get form letters back saying, "Thank you for writing. Now I'm going to vote the way I want to."
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